Quilts And All Things Fabric...

As an avid fabric enthusiast, a blog about quilts and all things fabric just seemed the obvious thing to do.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bits of Inspiration

The last post was supposed to have included this little bit of beautiful color inspiration, but I got so carried away with the GARDEN update; I decided to do this as a separate post.

After wandering around in the garden taking photos of the squash this morning, I decided to get a couple of flower photos. Mainly, because I still had the camera in my hand when our postal carrier brought the mail, and the little yellow lily's were just bugging me to take their pictures! Yes, they can do that!!! :-)
 I set this photo as X-Large to better get a close up of the center, although it is throwing it a little out of focus. However, look at the shadow thrown by the Anther (little pollen holders). Adding another color into our quilts, is like letting the block 'cast a shadow'. Adding a subtle change that can become dramatic to the overall results.

More shadows from the grasses. Double image with two flowers. Great natural color ideas!

These Snapdragons are an exquisite shade of pink! 
Take a close look at the contrast between the pink flower petal and the green of the leaf in the right center of the picture.

Green on Green....STUNNING
This is one of my favorite Hosta  plants. I love the variegated leaf colors.

And one last photo...uh...maybe two...:-)
This reminds me of a scrappy quilt; does it you?

Less "scrappy", fewer colors, more contrast showing.
Still pretty. 

The only purpose to this blog, was to share some pretty flower photos and maybe some color inspiration. I hope you enjoyed the little tour around my yard. :-)

Have a great weekend! I'll be back next week with the next Barn Block (#3).  See you then!


Barn Block Update and Garden News

First, I hope everyone has a SAFE and FUN holiday weekend and please keep in mind those that paid the ultimate price in service to our country this Memorial Day.
And to those that are currently serving...THANK YOU!

It is so hot and humid outside today, it seemed like a good time to sit down INSIDE and do a little blog update. Last blog showed the start of the Little Red Barn quilt. Although, I do have all the patterns, this is a quilt-along with the "Barn Blog Quilt Along" on the Quilt With Us group from Connecting Threads. So,  I am trying to pace myself and not get way ahead. Don't you just love having THAT kind of an excuse for what would otherwise appear to be procrastination? LOL  (There are still way too many projects in the works in my little sewing room.)
Well, block number 2  entitled "The Country Spool" is constructed.
The applique stitching is not done yet, and will wait until all blocks are completed. That way there will be less thread changes. And there is a little "spool button" that goes atop the weather-vane when completed.

These are the cutest little barns!

In other news around Beachwood Cottage....the garden is growing beatuifully this year. One of our daughters gave us a gift packet of heirloom seeds for Christmas last year and it has been a lot of fun experiencing and experimenting with some new-to-us seeds. One of which is a Zucchini officially called "Cocozella Di Napoli Squash", an Italian Heirloom zucchini. We grow or at least appempt to grow zucchini's every year and it is always a 'crap shoot' subject to weather and garden critters as to whether or not we get a squash or not. This year we planted the seeds in a different bed (we do all raised beds in the garden) and they are loving it. Might also have something to do with the 'natural turkey fertilizer' that Gary added LAST year too. ;-) Anyway, the plants are huge and BEAUTIFUL!
 There are some Butternut Squash plants growing in front of the Zucchini's and Cantaloupe and Watermelon (out of view) also .  This is a very large bed that can handle a lot of plants.

This morning (5/26/12) I picked these two beauties! They both measure approximately 11" long. The the place mat that they are  laying on measures 12.25" high and 16.5" long, so that should give you a better idea of actual size. It's looking like a lot of Zucchini Bread to me!!! Yum.  As hot as it is right now, I will probably just go ahead and shred the zucchini's, measure out the 2 cups needed for the bread and freeze it for later use. I just don't like turning on the oven when it's over 90° outside!

In other garden news, we have already enjoyed a few tomatoes and cucumbers. The onions are looking really good this year, too. The Sugar Snap Peas are just about done for the season. We only did two short rows this year, but have seven bags in the freezer (enough for 2 people per bag) and have had the for dinner twice. The green beans are looking good and should be ready to pick in about a week. Of course we keep lettuces and spinach going year round. Other garden items include an heirloom carrot (from that same gift pack), beets, turnips, corn, okra, and butternut squash, and 3 different types of pepper plants. WHEW! Yes it is a big garden. Grapes, Blackberries and Hazel Nut bushes abound on the outer sides also. Retired people don't have anything else to do, do they?????
 Just in case you are curious.....here is an over all view of the garden:

 And a view 'through the garden gate':
It's no wonder I don't get THAT much SEWING done in the summer!!!! 
And, by the way...yes it is a very big garden and usually produces prolifically.We eat fresh out of the garden until we are sick of it (believe me, that really does happen); then I freeze and can what we will use for the year. Anything that is left is given away to friends, neighbors, and anyone that just stops and wants something. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Project on Points

It's been way too long since I have blogged! It has become very apparent that my life needs some sort of different organization in order to get even the basics done. Everyday involves some sort of activity related to my sewing/crafting room. Even days that it is not possible to physically be in this room working, my mind is working on some part of a project. But it is becoming more and more difficult to actually get 'it' done. Not sure ...need to think on this problem and come up with a workable solution. I think I just have so many BIG projects in the works at once, it is just taking too long to keep them caught up.
HOWEVER....last week I did manage to FINISH a project. A not so big project, but a VERY intense one. Well, intense for me!  :-) One of my favorite online groups "Quilt With Us" sponsored by Connecting Threads had a quilt along entitled "Perfect Points Quilt Along" using the Perfect Points Sampler Pattern. (This group, the pattern and lesson instructions are still up and available (free) at the time of this posting if you are interested.)  Instead of just choosing a random colorway and doing the little quilt as a practice project, I decided to go with a character theme and turn it into a wall hanging that went along with our lake house decor. With that in mind, off I went in search for just the perfect fabrics....or as close as I could come. Keep in mind, we are on a very remote part of Bull Shoals Lake  on the Missouri side in the heart of the Ozarks. Uh huh....bears, lions, tigers, oh my...well, bears at least, and racoons, squirrel, deer, fish....you get the picture. I found some really cute fabric with bears, squirrel, deer and racoons. Then added some fish fabric and fish lure fabric and some bee hives and bees...Anyway, I think it came out really cute! It was pointed out to me that I did not include blue birds...oops...state bird. There are 'flying geese' blocks included, so those can represent the real geese we have on the lake, or the blue birds for those that insist! It was also pointed out that I  neglected to include frogs, lizards, snakes, opossums, ticks, chiggers, crickets, spiders....ok, and the list just went on and on....People! It's only a SMALL wall hanging, NOT a double sided king quilt. Give me a break, there was only so much room, and I stuck with the original pattern, so only so much room for creativity. Ok, all kidding aside, this was a fantastic project to help perfect...attempt to perfect my points.
Here is the picture of the finished piece:
I tried to upload this a and XLarge image, but it was looking out of focus. One thing that doesn't show up very well is the center of the blue block at the left bottom and the borders of the bear paw and friendship star block is blackberry print fabric. (We have lots of wild blackberries here as well as domestic ones in our garden.)
It is free motion quilted in little loopy-loops...sort of looks like the bees flying around. And as an experiment, I used silk thread. It quilted in great. I really like the silk thread, but it is rather expensive and I probably won't do that again. Just keep the silk on hand for applique work if that.

And if that isn't enough....my current quilt along project with the Quilt With Us family is the Barn Blog Quilt Along and we are doing "The Little Red Barns" pattern. I have block one constructed, but the applique work is not finished yet. Plans are to wait and do all of the applique stitching when all of the blocks are completed. This is SO much fun and I love the little barns!!! We just started on the 2nd barn yesterday. I have it all cut out, but not together yet.

Here is Barn 1 minus the applique stitching:
The color is a little off in the photo and you can't tell that the corn is a yellow with white polka dot fabric, but overall it's pretty good.
Ok, time to go fix my dinner. Until next post....you all have a sew fantastic time!